The Tillman Movement in South Carolina

By Francis Butler Simkins | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
TILLMAN'S FIRST ADMINISTRATION

On December 4, 1890, the largest crowd ever gathered in the plaza in front of the State Capitol assembled to witness the inauguration of Tillman as governor of South Carolina. Many were perched in trees or hanging on the surrounding monuments. It was the same picnic crowd which in the previous summer had, before fifty rural platforms, yelled "Hurrah for Tillman" and which had now come to witness the triumph of its idol. In the crowd and on the list of those specially invited to sit on the platform were few from Columbia and Charleston or of aristocratic names, such as were wont to grace the advent of a new governor. Likewise, remarked an observer, the man who arose to address the assembled multitude, after he had taken the oath of office, was different in looks and manner from the typical governor of South Carolina. In place of the long white or raven hair and pleasing and agile movements of the typical governor, were shortly cropped hair, a dark complexion, a certain uncanny blankness about the face caused by the empty left eye socket, a set expression not broken

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